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Ripped by Greg Kot
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it was amazing

In honor of the recent Grammy week in L.A., we thought it would be a good time to touch base with Greg Kot’s recent book, ‘Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music.’
Kot, the music critic for the Chicago Tribune and co-host of the syndicated radio show Sound Opinions, chronicles all the major events of the past decade relating not so much to the so-called decline of the music business, but the way in which smart and clever artists have made new and interesting uses of the technology that some would say is at the root of the problem for the music business.
‘Ripped’ is the first book (that we’ve seen) that covers nearly all of the major developments in the tech/music revolution and does so without the often veiled accusations and pejorative tone that surrounds much of the discussion of the decade (not once, for example, does he say ‘record labels missed the boat by not embracing Napster.’) Instead, Kot sheds light on numerous examples – from Prince’s free CD in the UK’s Daily Mail to Radiohead’s pay-what-you-like album ‘In Rainbows’ to DJ Danger Mouse’s banned ‘Gray Album’ to the sample-based act Girl Talk, that give rise to an alternative way of getting music to an enthusiastic audience using an array of new tools and interesting concepts.
Along the way, we get the backstory of webzines like Pitchfork, the rise of bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire and a treasure trove of ideas to build upon for expanding music’s influence into the future.
While Kot’s POV is definitely Chicago and midwest centric (there’s little serious mention of Silicon Valley or companies like imeem, iLike, ReverbNation or Artist Direct, save the Lily Allen/YouTube and U2/iPod references), ‘Ripped’ serves as the best compendium to date of the keystones of the disruptive culture embraced by the alternative music community. A serious must-read for anyone who makes their living in recorded music today – particularly those at the top.
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